PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Arthur Hurvitz died Aug. 26. When he was asked by one of his grandchildren to define the essence of a well-lived life, Arthur replied without hesitation: marry a wonderful woman, find a job that will support your family, and further a cause for which you have a passion. He embodied those words and so much more.
Born in New York to immigrant parents who instilled in him a love and appreciation for this country, he enlisted in the U.S. Army at 17 and was gravely wounded in the Battle of the Bulge during the Second World War. After recovering, he met the love of his life, whom he married and spent 71 years of blissful marriage with. He earned dual degrees in industrial engineering and textile engineering from The Georgia Institute of Technology courtesy of the GI Bill and in 1951 moved to Pawtucket to join Health-Tex/The Standard Romper Company. Over a 27-year career at Health-Tex, he rose to president and led the company in becoming the foremost designer and manufacturer of children’s clothing and through its listing on the New York Stock Exchange. After retiring from Health-Tex, he started Heritage Color, a color separation and printing company whose skill earned it major printing accounts, including the covers of Harper’s Bazaar and other magazines.
His passion was helping everyone he could: he served as a board member for numerous nonprofit organizations such as The Miriam Hospital, Pawtucket Boy’s Club, Cumberland-Lincoln Boy’s Club, Planned Parenthood of RI, the Jewish Seniors Agency, the Jewish Federation of RI, and Jewish Family Service. He funded the high school education of underprivileged Black girls by providing scholarships to the Lincoln School. When staff at the Jewish Home for the Aged went on strike, he served meals to residents. His devotion to The Miriam Hospital spanned more than four decades, and included establishing the Hurvitz Nursing Scholarship Endowed Fund, co-chairing The Campaign for the Next Generation (which raised more than $30 million and led to the opening of the Victor and Gussie Baxt Building), receiving the status of honorary nurse, and being awarded the 2009 Miriam Hospital Person of the Year for championing nursing excellence as well as overall advancement of the hospital.
He took countless people under his protective wing and supported them through personal crises. His list of charities was always expanding. He leaves behind his wife, Joyce Hurvitz, of Providence; two children, Karen Hurvitz of Concord, Massachusetts, and Ellen Hurvitz and her husband, Barry Strasnick, of Needham, Massachusetts; four grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren who will all deeply miss this selfless, patient, kind, humble and inspiring man, whose life they had the privilege to share.
Donations in Arthur’s memory may go to the Hurvitz Nursing Scholarship Endowed Fund, C/o Miriam Hospital, 164 Summit Avenue, Providence, RI 02906.